Anna Farmery over at The Engaging Brand Blog and Podcast had this post: 3D Is The Place To Be! yesterday. The post was inspired by a conversation (and Podcast) she conducted with Jason Alba of Jibber Jobber - a Blog about building your career. Their discussion revolved around the idea of giving both personal and corporate brands a more "3 dimensional feel." The concept of a 3D feeling sparked some great ideas by Farmery and she wanted my take on it. Instead of just commenting on her Blog, I decided to create my own post about it (there's already tons of juice in hers).
Some of my macro thoughts on Personal Branding are not about what you want your brand to be, but rather about defining what your personal brand already is (and making sure that you are able to communicate that core effectively). This is the paradox of personal branding. All too often we read materials that give us great tips and tricks on how to do things differently - to make a bigger splash. That's not of interest to me. If you have to do things differently, then clearly this is not who you are or what your personal brand truly is. That being said, we all must be able to take this excellent information and modulate it so that it fits with our own, unique, personal brand.
As for the three dimensional aspect: how do you make a personal (or corporate) brand resonate over and above a CV, billboard ad or press? How do you make a personal brand come to life?
Here are my thoughts:
1. Give abundantly. The best way to build a personal brand is to give your knowledge away. To be highly concerned about others and to stay in their loop. It's the ability to go for a job interview and not worry about what they can do for you, but rather doing your homework and research and knowing what you can do for them. Imagine going for a job interview and realizing that it's not the perfect fit for you, and referring them to someone who you think would be perfect for the job? That's personal branding.
2. Help others. When you go to a networking event and you start meeting a variety of people, stop worrying about how they can help you, but start thinking about who you know in your network that can help them.
3. Relationships. We all know how important the idea of "conversation" is in this Web 2.0 - Social Media revolution. I'm the first to drink my own bath water on this. But, it's all about creating real relationships. Conversations are important but if you don't nurture a true relationship, it's just a bunch of gums flapping. Build your personal brand by building strong relationships.
Maybe Anna wanted more tangible tactics for how to build better three-dimensional personal brands?
I don't have tactics.
I believe that words are a small fraction of the communications game. There's that old saying that words account for only seven percent of the communications that you have with somebody. In my world, that translates as: "your personal brand is screaming so loudly, I can hardly hear a word you are saying."
How can you build a better three-dimensional personal brand? Understand who you are. Know what you stand for. Do something everyday to make sure that your actions (and words) speak as loud as your personal brand already is.